Cloud News: Microsoft, Google, CA Tech, SAP

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Here’s a roundup of this week’s headlines from the cloud computing industry:

Microsoft announces Office 365. Microsoft (MSFT) announced Microsoft Office 365, the company’s next generation in cloud productivity that brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service. A limited beta program will open in 365 countries and regions for the product. Pricing for companies with fewer than 25 employees is $6 or 5.25 Euros per user, per month. “For a small business, Office 365 is a perfect way to start,” said Rob Nichols, chief technology officer of Allovus Design, a graphic design firm and member of Microsoft’s Customer Advisory Board for Office 365. “It has all the features we need, and we can come out of the gate with the same tools the big guys have — on day one.” Office 365 will be available worldwide in 2011 and in late 2011 they will expand it to include Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Google’s bridge to the cloud.  Google (GOOG) announced a new Google Search Appliance (GSA) 6.8 Monday. A new Cloud Connect feature allows searching both on-premise and cloud-based content from a single search box, delivering more comprehensive results.  Cloud Connect also allows users to search content from Twitter, blogs and websites via Google Site Search.  The new version also include People Search, to easily find coworkers who are related to a search query, and an LDAP connector to get People Search up and running quickly.  Additional features include active-active appliance direction, dynamic navigation and the ability to search content within SharePoint 2010.

CA Technologies announces automation suite.  CA Technologies (CA) announced a next-generation CA Automation Suite to help customers with their journey to a virtualized, dynamic cloud computing infrastructure.  “New computing architectures significantly complicate many activities, such as application and server provisioning, and change management. Automated provisioning solutions are needed to help IT teams address these challenges. The CA Automation Suite targets many of these requirements while providing customers with modular implementation options designed to deliver value quickly and allowing customers to ramp up use of automation at a pace that makes sense for their business,” said Mary Johnston Turner, research director, Enterprise System Management Software at IDC. New features include CA Process Automation with a graphical designer interface and over 50 third-party connectors and CA Configuration Automation for enabling greater standardization of IT services. A new CA Automation Suite for Hybrid Clouds is for enterprises who wish to build internal private clouds with the possibility of utilizing a public cloud as a part of their data center strategy. A new CA Automation Suite for Data Centers manages integrated physical and virtual infrastructure and prepares to take advantage of cloud computing’s benefits.

SAP private cloud management.  At the SAP Tech Ed conference in Las Vegas Tuesday SAP announced that its customers will soon have more options and tools for deploying the company’s software on private clouds. They are designing a landscape management solution to simplify and automate the effort required to provision, deploy, monitor and manage SAP systems and landscapes focusing on virtualized and cloud infrastructures for on-premise SAP systems. They also announced short and mid-term product and partner-related plans around cloud computing and virtualization management.

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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